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Unread 2010-09-10, 15:47   #91
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I'm getting some "Mechazod" funkiness on the Homepage?
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Unread 2010-09-10, 15:49   #92
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Oh yeah whoops. Thanks.
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Unread 2010-09-12, 19:42   #93
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Hi I need opinions for the new design background. Leaning towards C, but maybe A. I don't like it middle range really, only light or dark. If you like B though pipe up. Remember you'll be staring at this everywhere on the site (eventually), so your opinion matters!

http://mechapixel.com/img/previews/m...e-09122010.png

I'm going to launch the new homepage and stuff tonight but if the background gets poor feedback, I can always change it.
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Unread 2010-09-12, 20:42   #94
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My heart votes for A, my head also votes for A, my dick votes for C but I don't listen to my dick, it always got me in trouble. I can't hear it very well anymore, anyway, I just can't crane my neck down that far, and believe me I've tried. Anyway... A.
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Unread 2010-09-12, 21:11   #95
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WTF they are all the same? I'll go with C. I really didn't see any background at all, it was like one of those search games in highlights magazine at the dentists. Then I figgered it out.
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Unread 2010-09-12, 22:13   #96
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Hey while looking for the old 8bit psd I found this.

Blast from the past:




And a very early prototype of the Mechapixel homepage from 2005, before the "grey box" design that we used for 4 years:

(holy shit it's gross)



(what was I thinking?)
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Unread 2010-09-13, 0:46   #97
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Homepage is now live. Lots of stuff to do but it's running at least! Enjoy and feel free to shoot any suggestions over in this thread

Also you can get to the homepage by clicking the Mechapixel logo in the far top left corner. The theme for these forums will be changing later on though, to match the main site.
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Unread 2010-09-13, 7:21   #98
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Unread 2010-09-13, 7:41   #99
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Great work, Ved, it looks awesome! That spammer thinks so too!
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Unread 2010-09-13, 7:46   #100
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Excellent
Click the image to open in full size.
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Unread 2010-09-19, 23:45   #101
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Lots of little changes this weekend, mostly on the backend, but the homepage is now basically done.

http://mechapixel.com/index.php
  • Arcade Highscores box is plugged in

  • Closed contests are now displayed in gray boxes, to somewhat reduce the color explosion on that page. One major and confusing thing I will fix tomorrow is sometimes those boxes state "Today's Graffiti" or "Yesterday's Graffiti" even if they are a week old. This is a display bug and will be fixed.

  • Stats box in the bottom-right is updated

  • The Picture of the Day box is working, but it's using Featured Entries from 2006. Same date, different year. Once the Featured Pic setup script is working again and other things have settled down, we'll start manually selecting entries again. Also the box is rather short, but I can't think of what else to add to it. Maybe links to a few random entries or links to recent featured pictures at the bottom, who knows! Also it's NOT PINK IT'S RED OKAY
At most I might add a wide, thin gray box at the very top of the homepage explaining what Mechapixel is (in a few sentences) and offering some links of interest that aren't already visible (Tournaments etc).

In the header, I increased the font size of the Contests bar very slightly, but it's still not blinking or 3d or anything. It should be a tad easier to notice though now.

Another thing I noticed today: this server is on Eastern Time, so Graffiti contests will now start at 9:00 AM EST. The only difference is in the display; Graffiti start/end times from now on will be listed as 9:00 AM, which of course is still 8 central. I'll add "EST" next to the start times wherever they appear to help reinforce this distinction.

Finally, a "come back and check out Mechapixel" email will be sent out to all validated members (about 4900 folks) on Monday, September 27. You know I pretty much never send out mass email to the entire Mechapixel community, so this is indeed a special occasion. Expect site traffic to spike a little on that day, so if you can, try to enter some Graffitis scheduled for next week! Let's show 'em what we got.
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Unread 2010-09-20, 11:03   #102
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In the Contest Voting Queue, is it possible to have the submitted source picture open in the Light Box instead of a new page when you click the "view" link? It would make everything feel more inclusive, not like you're leaving mecha even though I know that those pictures are hosted elsewhere.
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Unread 2010-09-20, 11:39   #103
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Yes, good idea.
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Unread 2010-09-20, 20:26   #104
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You rock, Ved. Can't tell you how nice it is. Kinda like a homecoming. Except I never left and I still live in my mom's basement. Sorta.
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Unread 2010-09-26, 13:31   #105
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Coming soon to a Mecha near you...

http://mechapixel.com/img/previews/a...view092010.png

I first toyed with putting a sidebar on the right all the way down the page, but it really squished content too much horizontally. So there is a new ad bar in the header, which will be activated as soon we get approved for Google AdSense.

The whole bar will be hidden if you have Mecha+, since you're already supporting the site. Mecha+ won't be re-implemented at first though, so everyone will have to suffer it for a bit (although a lot of people no doubt have an ad blocker anyway).

Edit: Actually I forgot, M+ is turned on for all members right now, so you won't even see it at first - just unregistered site visitors.

Last edited by Ved; 2010-09-26 at 13:36. Reason: ,
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Unread 2010-09-27, 11:50   #106
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So for those of us who don't know, how do the Google ads actually benefit mecha? I'm willing to turn off adblock and start using the links if mecha gets a direct benefit.
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Unread 2010-09-27, 11:53   #107
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I am interested in this too... do the ads have to get clicks for you to get paid? Or do you get a rate just for putting it up there?
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Unread 2010-09-27, 12:23   #108
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The ads are pay per click, not load, and the amount per click varies based on the ad. I guess this is a good time to say I appreciate the support, but please do not spam click the upcoming Google ads just to inflate the numbers; they look for that and will suspend our account over abuse. Don't be worried about clicking on if you see something that interests you, but please god do not click it repeatedly.

Hopefully some day there will be enough genuine interest in ads from the occasional visitor to cover site operational expenses. That is the goal.
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Unread 2010-09-30, 10:23   #109
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Okay, ads are set up and I'm turning them on today. I tried to make them as minimal and unobtrusive as possible, considering their prominent positioning. I also realized that since we have so few anonymous visitors right now, they wouldn't be seen at all if I turned them off for all site members, so I'm going to leave them on for a little while for testing.

I could use some feedback, regarding how often you see duplicate ads, in the 3 slots across the header. If you see duplicates, which slots are they in (left, middle, right ad blocks)?

In the near future the smaller ads on the sides will be things other than Google; basically open ad slots used for Mecha promotions, contests, or user-submitted ads or something. This game is new to me so please bear with my lack of marketing skills.
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Unread 2010-09-30, 10:47   #110
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I didn't see any ads

Oh, ad blockers, that's why I don't see them.

Last edited by Dinahmoehum; 2010-09-30 at 10:58. Reason: Remembered
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Unread 2010-10-25, 16:20   #111
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I've mostly been doing bug fixes over the past few weeks, but work has also picked up, so I haven't spent as much time on Mechapixel as last month. I will have more time to work on site design and coding more over the holidays.

The goal this fall is still to get Slags going again, but right now I am feeling weary about their potential activity, as Graffiti contests have dipped to 1-2 entries (reminiscent of entry counts in 2008/early 2009). I'm not griping about it; I know people get busy, and we don't have many regulars beyond a number of old-schoolers hanging around right now. I'm still interested in getting Slags going though, in hopes photoshopping will pick back up and maybe we'll get some new folks interested in Mechapixel and photoshopping.

As far as new blood, part of the issue is photoshopping for fun/sport is not as popular as it was when it was new, a decade ago (well, 2000-2002 in my eyes). We also don't really advertise, which isn't by policy or anything, but just due to lack of funds. For now, Mecha is a word of mouth kind of site, which I would be fine with if it worked, but word just isn't getting out to the right crowds.

Back to the contests, I did want to say something about Graffiti entries. Even if you don't find the time or motivation to enter something yourself, please take literally one minute out of your day to look at the contests and vote if you see something you like, even if there are only 1 or 2 entries. Hell, especially if there are only a couple of entries. It means a lot to the people who are still photoshopping, and if we start having contests show up on the homepage with no entries, I might have to pull them off of the homepage, because it would look bad. That would be an absolute shame, in light of this overhaul. Support Mechapixel's digital artists by looking at the current contests!
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Unread 2010-10-26, 11:59   #112
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Well said. It's exciting to see all you've done, but yeah, I'd be hesitant to do more until graffiti activity picks up.
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Unread 2010-10-26, 13:14   #113
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According to the Members tab, we have 605 active members and 4,896 total members. I'm guessing most of these "members" are unaware that Mechapixel is back. Is it possible to send out a mass email (not to their Mechapixel account) inviting them to return and see the new Mechapixel?
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Unread 2010-10-26, 13:35   #114
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Yea Ved sent one of those out a couple weeks back. I think it did generate a bump in activity, but not too many people dove back into the photoshopping. I think there was probably a fair amount of those emails getting picked off by spam filters(mine did).
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Unread 2010-10-26, 13:46   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
According to the Members tab, we have 605 active members and 4,896 total members. I'm guessing most of these "members" are unaware that Mechapixel is back. Is it possible to send out a mass email (not to their Mechapixel account) inviting them to return and see the new Mechapixel?
Active members includes any member who has posted or submitted an entry, over the history of the site. So not all of them are actually active, as in they have visited in the past few months. The number of active accounts (since August) is 104, and again, many of those are lurkers or possibly spam bots.

As ash mentioned, I did send an email to all site members a few weeks ago. I tried to avoid using any words that I thought might trigger spam filters, but the manner in which they were mailed (mass mailer via php) probably set off alarms. I would be reluctant to do a mass mailing again anytime soon, because who likes being pestered by a web site?

I'm open to any other ideas as far as viral marketing, however!
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Unread 2010-10-26, 13:49   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B L View Post
Well said. It's exciting to see all you've done, but yeah, I'd be hesitant to do more until graffiti activity picks up.
I like the way you think, good sir.

I should have added that as long as the site supports itself, I don't really mind it remaining a forum/shoutbox for friends, and archive of photoshop contests held years ago. I would just prefer fresh content and ongoing contests, that's all. They're fun to watch, and lately I have found I still enjoy participating in them.
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Unread 2010-10-28, 15:01   #117
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Quick question about the Google Ads: When you click on one, can the link open in a new window/tab? It forced me to leave mecha when I clicked on one.
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Unread 2010-10-28, 16:28   #118
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I'm not sure since it just includes pre-formatted code directly from Google, but I can look into that, sure.
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Unread 2010-10-28, 19:24   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FulanoDeTal View Post
Quick question about the Google Ads: When you click on one, can the link open in a new window/tab? It forced me to leave mecha when I clicked on one.
My guess is that's sort of the idea.
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Unread 2010-10-29, 8:27   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b0rg9 View Post
My guess is that's sort of the idea.
well, that's just "evil" now isn't it?
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